Pain Expressed, Hope Renewed

You know the song, “Be Exalted Oh God Above the Heavens?”

I’ve had the tune stuck in my head since 5:30 a.m.  It’s a good tune to have stuck in your head though. 🙂

I never realized the context of the song until this morning, when I read Psalm 57. Outside Starbucks at 5:30 a.m. – the weather was perfect! (It’s gonna be in the 90’s later).  

The birds were singing loudly.  As I waited for them to open, I sat outside and read Psalm 57.

“Be gracious to me, Oh God, be gracious to me.”  

What a calming verse.  

The whole psalm is calming – the psalmist is mostly calling out to God with hope, knowing that God will help him.

But then right in the middle of the psalm – he shares the depth of his pain.

I’ve heard that when a person is in their deepest pain, the only way they can express it is with a visual image. When someone can’t put their emotions into words, but must use an image to express it, you know it has affected them deeply.

(Or so I’ve been told. ☺️)  

And here David says that his soul is lying down with lions; that he’s surrounded by those who breathe fire, whose teeth are like swords…

That is where this verse is found.  

Sandwiched between David’s visual expressions of pain.

 “Be exalted, Oh God, among the heavens. Let your glory be over all the earth.”

What a reminder.

I love how he first writes about his pain – how he feels free to express his deepest pain in writing – but then he turns his focus to the God who can strengthen him through that pain.

This is often how my journal entries will go… and it’s a good reminder to me, that it’s okay to write about your pain – with the intent to work through it (not to merely vent – venting anger with no purpose is usually detrimental and doesn’t quiet your soul at all).

I love how David always does this – he expresses his deep, very real pain.  

(In Psalm 57 he was hiding in a cave, fleeing from King Saul – whose life-consuming goal at this point, was to kill David.)

David first expresses his pain and then he remembers God.  And that is what gets him through it.  It’s all throughout Psalm 119.

This verse sums it up well: verse 50: “this is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.”



Note- I wrote this draft several months ago, but recently came across and decided to post it. I hope it’s an encouragement to you as it was a helpful reminder to me when I came across it again.